9 Reasons Not to Take a Baby on a Cruise

May 29, 2012 | By | 91 Comments

crying-baby-cruise
Parents, you can thank me. I have taken my baby on a cruise so you don’t have to. I have always said that family cruising is best when the kids are elementary school age and older, but I never had a chance to put that theory to the test. I recently found myself sitting in a darkened cabin on Rhapsody of the Seas, listening to my 1-year-old son breathe as he napped. While waiting for my mom to return (the two of us took Isaac on his first at-sea sojourn), I started thinking about reasons why you may not want to take your baby on a cruise.
Don’t get me wrong — cruising with a baby is definitely doable, especially on the right ship with an accommodating kid. The staff on Rhapsody was extraordinarily friendly, making a point to say hi to my son and not getting upset about the messes he made. I have great photos of him in his tuxedo onesie on formal night, and I’ll always have the memories of celebrating his first birthday on his first Alaska cruise (complete with a cake smash in the main dining room). He enjoyed pushing our umbrella stroller around the pool deck and down the cabin hallways. But between you and me, I needed a serious vacation after this cruise.
Here, then, are nine reasons to think twice before taking the little one on a cruise. (Caveat: Your baby may be better suited to cruising than mine, but still consider my advice.)
1. Babies don’t sail free. With the exception of a few lines that have standard kids-sail-free deals and occasional promotions, you have to pay the going third-person rate for a baby sharing a cabin with Mom and Dad. That can be a hefty sum for a trip baby is not going to remember.
2. You can’t pack light. What with the stroller, the bag of baby food and snacks, the bottles, sippy cups, multiple outfits per day and toys, I could have used a Sherpa to get through the airport with all our gear. Had I brought the car seat, I don’t think I would have been physically able to carry all the bags I needed to bring. For little people, babies don’t travel light.
3. It’s not a vacation for mom and dad. Some of the best parts of cruising are not cooking, cleaning or doing laundry for a week. On this cruise, I washed bottles and sippy cups at least once a day, spent a morning in port washing clothes, and brought my own food to the lido buffet for breakfast and lunch. Thank goodness, I didn’t have to wash all the linens we soiled or hose down the high chair after every meal.
4. Cruise ships aren’t baby-proof. My active kid wanted to explore everything. Unfortunately, open railings on the pool deck, decorative pebbles in the planters and high-traffic stairways don’t make for the safest play places for babies lacking self-preservation instincts. Unless your ship has a play area baby can access, there is really nowhere on a ship that’s a good place for baby to play. The cabin is your best bet.
5. Cribs make cabins even smaller. Thought your cabin was snug? Try sticking a full-size pack-and-play in the middle of it. Oh, and you have to squeeze the stroller in whatever free corner is left. (Tip: Leave the full-size jogging stroller at home.) It makes co-sleeping look really appealing.
6. No nightlife for you. My kid goes to sleep at 7 p.m., which meant from that point on, someone had to be in the cabin with him. With only Grandma and me cruising with baby, one of us got to go out at night and the other person ended up asleep by 9 after sitting in a darkened room for hours. That’s right — with no dividing curtain on Rhapsody, we couldn’t risk turning on lights. Some ships have in-cabin baby-sitting (if you’re willing to pay 20 bucks an hour) or a nursery where you can put baby down — if he or she will go to sleep in a communal space and transfer easily back to the crib at midnight.
7. The cruise schedule doesn’t always match baby’s schedule. Embarkation day was a nightmare because my kid needs to nap, in a crib, at 10:45 a.m. sharp. When I showed up, screaming child in hand, on our deck to beg entry into our cabin at 12:30 p.m. (they weren’t officially open until 1), I discovered that our pack-and-play wouldn’t arrive until 4 p.m. There was no napping that day. If your baby isn’t a stroller napper (mine isn’t), embark/debark days and shore excursions may be difficult to manage. And, oh yeah, expect baby’s sleeping and eating patterns and schedules to get messed up during the trip.
8. Babies can’t use the pool. With the exception of certain ships with splash zones for the diaper set (like some Royal Caribbean and Disney ships), kids can’t use the pool unless they’re toilet trained. That makes sea days in the Caribbean or Mexico less fun — unless you plan on schlepping and filling an inflatable tub/pool.
9. Most cruise cabins don’t have bathtubs. Book Disney or a suite for bathtub access — otherwise baby better like sponge baths or showers. Mine discovered during his first sponge bath in the shower that he could remove the drain cover and reach inside the dark recesses of the drain. That was the end of the sponge bath, and I’m not sure he ever got entirely clean while we were on Rhapsody. Again, consider the inflatable tub/pool. I regretted not bringing one.
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    Comments

    91 Responses to “9 Reasons Not to Take a Baby on a Cruise”

    1. Vanessa McGovern
      May 29th, 2012 @ 9:55 am

      Amen! Thank you for writing this article! And, another point of mention is that parents think that they can visit the youth center with their baby/child under 3 and stay there with their child to play. However, most cruise lines won’t even let parents access the kids facilities at all unless the child is 3 AND potty trained. VERY few ships have “play” areas for babies – even with parent supervision. As a former Youth Staff for several years in my early 20’s – I encourage parents to WAIT until their child is 3 AND potty trained for a family cruise. Thank you again for the article!

    2. Debra Mc
      May 29th, 2012 @ 10:09 am

      You forgot one thing, assuming that you are thoughtful about others: the cabin walls are rather thin & having a screaming baby next door will seriously interfere with the vacation of those in cabins around you – possibly including those across the hall or even down the hall depending on where/when your youngster starts & how strong his lungs are. I would be mortified if my baby were keeping others from enjoying their hard earned vacations. My recommendation to traveling with baby: keep it to a minimum (grandma & grandpa) until they reach the age of reason where you (& they) can show some consideration to those around you.

    3. Sue
      May 29th, 2012 @ 11:23 am

      I totally disagree. I found the hardest part of cruising with a baby was just getting there. Once you are onboard, it is easy. I guess you didn’t cruise Carnival. Their Camp Carnival is wonderful! Parents can enjoy play time, while the little one is safe and sound. My kids have been cruising since they were a few months old. Perhaps your kids aren’t flexible and stick to a schedule….Just a word of advice….have them adapt to your lifestyle. You don’t have to adapt to them…

    4. Jenn
      May 29th, 2012 @ 11:25 am

      I disagree. Cruise lines are becoming much more baby friendly. Yes, your vacation time may be spent doing more things to take care of your child and instead of attending a white hot party after hours you may be spending time on your balcony while baby sleeps … It is still a cruise – much rather be taking care of my baby on a cruise ship then anywhere else :)

    5. Mark
      May 29th, 2012 @ 11:43 am

      We traveled on Voyager of the Seas in December 2011 with our 23 month old boy. He was a champ and a huge hit with many of the other passengers but we vowed never to cruise with one so young again. There is an activity center on board where an adult can play with their child but all of the staff supervised play areas are for three and up. Also the diaper was an issue. Not being able to take him in the pools while on board was understandable but disappointing. Otherwise it was a great vacation

    6. Rose
      May 29th, 2012 @ 12:07 pm

      Thank you! We were considering bringing our son and daughter’s family (children 1 and 3) on a family cruise. Postponing makes more sense until they (and mom and dad) can really enjoy it. I may be a grandparent but the thought of being the cabin babysitter on a cruise is not my idea of fun .

    7. Elizabeth
      May 29th, 2012 @ 3:24 pm

      We did not cruise with our kids until they were elementary aged. They traveled as babies, just not on a ship. My husband’s parents insisted on a giant family cruise when his siblings’ children were babies. It was horrible. They cried through every dinner in the main dining room, and my mother-in-law insisted they be at the table and stay. Our wait staff was not amused as well as the other diners around us. I felt so badly for those little ones being forced into such a situation.

    8. Martine
      May 29th, 2012 @ 5:35 pm

      I LOVE cruising with my children. My son is 2 and has been on 5 cruises, starting from when he was 6 months. He loves it. I find it very easy. Also, the crew that I have had really enjoyed seeing a baby. Many of them had babies back home. They would give him a lot of extra attention, and he seemed to love it! :) I do have to pack extra stuff, but I don’t mind that. I have a new baby who is 2 months. I can’t wait until she is 6 months so we can cruise again.

    9. wendy
      May 29th, 2012 @ 7:40 pm

      After taking care of my dad for 6 weeks while he was in hospice, I needed a vacation away with my family which included our 13 month old DD, so that happened to be her first cruise. My DH had been laid off and was pitching to help with my dad, and I was working FT to support my family and burning the candle at both ends to spend time with Dad before he was gone while still trying to see my DD’s first steps and what not. My mother had passed a few years before and my inlaws are across the country, so this is what worked for us. DD was a great baby, and I needed a cruise where I could be pampered, and focus on my family. We sailed with RCCL so it was a more family friendly line. We also had extended family come with us to help and booked an RFS for extra room, and were aware if she did get fuusy at dinner one night that it was time for her to leave, so DH would order dessert to go. Was a 9 night sailing and a great experience, and she’s now 8 with her 8th cruise coming up this summer.

    10. Terry
      May 29th, 2012 @ 9:24 pm

      I agree with this article, I have two,kids and would not dream of taking a young child under five or six on a cruise. It is very annoying to be in a room next to a screaming child, so if nothing else parents, think of others!!! It is also very annoying trying to get thru a line of people, and lo and behold, who is holding everything up? Inconsiderate people with a stroller!! Please stay home until your children are old enough to behave somewhat reasonably!! And then, have a great cruise, and so will your fellow guests.

    11. Katherine
      May 30th, 2012 @ 2:07 am

      We are going on our first cruise in September with our 2 1/2 year old. We waited until she was 2 as with p and o she can go to the children’s club. With p and o they have a splash pool for children nappies so she can go there. We have rung the company about cots, high chairs etc and they have been an amazing help. We are going on a non fly cruise so we just drive to the port so we don’t have to worry to much about what we need to take. I think when travelling with children you need to choose your cruise line carefully and remember that a family holiday on land or on sea is never as relaxing as a holiday away from your children, though I would always choose the family holiday.

    12. Leticia
      May 30th, 2012 @ 6:38 am

      I agree. Wait until your child is potty trained. It’s such a hassle to bring a baby on board. I think the same way as taking small children to Europe. They will not understand anything they are seeing and it’s a very long flight. There are so many land options close to home for vacationing. The key is to try to have a vacation as stress free as possible. And if you have a miserable baby crying and unhappy, you as a parent will also be stressed out. I’ve been on 42 cruises with my family and my kids were 8 and 6 years old when we started cruising. We’ve always gone on vacation since they were babies, but land vacations close to home and never to places where one could not drink the water.

    13. jan
      May 30th, 2012 @ 11:12 am

      Sorry, I beg to differ. Although I am the great Aunt, I planned the trip and with the help of myself, Grammie and parents, traveling with 11 month old and 2 1/2 yr old was fun and memorable. First and up most, pick the right departure port, cruise ship, and cabin to suit the needs of the children. We went on the Gem (NCL) out of New York and stayed in the Haven. Plenty of room, surprisingly affordable (off season), could not have had a better set up. Separate rooms, big tub and the Haven hang out area was directly across from our cabin. We all took turns dealing with the babies. I being the first up would take the baby monitor with me into the Haven to have morning cup of joe while waiting for the family to rise. Bottom line…..spend the extra monies to have a great memory of the little ones cruising. NCL does reduce the fare for them and no grats (some say service charges) for under 3 yrs of age. Sailed this Mother’s Day (what a memory) and looking to book next year NCL Breakaway to Bermuda. Haven…for sure.
      P.S. Sailed on HAL summer of 2010 with 1st baby when he was 11 months old in 2 connecting cabins. All went well, so we decided to take trip with the two, and yes it’s work, but very rewarding. So who needs the pool…..there’s a lot of other options on board.

    14. Jennifer
      May 30th, 2012 @ 11:20 am

      I disagree wholeheartedly. My son just turned 6 and has been on 10 cruises. My second son who is only 23 months will be going on his 4th cruise next month. Cruising is the best vacation for a family with young children. We don’t have to worry about how we were going to get from point a to point b as the ship is our vessel for transportation, a variety of foods are always available, and it’s a great family vacation that can incorporate multiple generations giving each many entertainment options to choose from. I think the problem is not the kids but parents who do not discipline their children or refuse to follow stated rules. Both my children were never in the pool prior to being potty trained, I would never allow them to act up in the dining room, they don’t run down the halls, or bother others who are enjoying their vacation. Are my children perfect? No, but it’s my job to teach them what is expected. There is a time and place for everything. As a result, cruising has allowed me to create many teachable moments for the two young gentleman I am raising. They wear their tuxes on formal night, know how to enter and exist an elevator, and are little world travelers having been throughout Europe, the Caribbean, Hawaii, Mexico, and Alaska. If you are considering traveling with young children, Do Not let this article deter you. I spent a week at Disney with the six year old when he was 3. The whole time I kept thinking of how much easier it would have been to simply go on a cruise.

    15. Talliana
      May 30th, 2012 @ 12:52 pm

      The problem with cruising with kids is not the kids but the parents. You have to adapt yourself to accommodate the kids needs and many parents will not do this. My sisters in-law always leave their kids at home with a nanny when they cruise. I could never do that with my kids. At one yr they were able to go with us with few problems (bring an umbrella stroller and lots of your kids’ favorite snacks,no more than two hrs in the sun/beach). Yes kids cry so choose a kid friendly/family line. We rotated around their schedules with one parent with them and another one at the pool/show etc. We don’t eat in the dining room it would be a waste of our time–Lido deck and everyone can choose what they want and eat at their own pace. We are going again this yr and already booked for next yr with our kids.

    16. Michael
      May 30th, 2012 @ 9:50 pm

      Lets begin with I love kids. I take care of my nephew all the time and the neighbors kids when they need. If you do not take kids on a cruise you want to relax and not hear them scream or run down the halls in the morning or night. I understand you want it to be a family vacation and thats awesome but parents have to think of others who did not bring there children with them. One thing that IRRITATES me is when parents bring the child that is not potty trained in the adult pool. One I do not want to see your child’s bare butt. Yes you child is cute but I don’t want to see that. And two if they have a diaper they should not be in the pool. Im sorry you do not want to take them to the kids pool or the family pool because it is too crowded. It’s an ADULT ONLY pool.

    17. Richard
      May 31st, 2012 @ 12:31 am

      I agree with the author. We didn’t even take our kids to Disneyland until they were 5 let alone a cruise. Maybe it works for some folks… but I’m not sure of the value of spending all that money on something that they will NOT remember.

    18. Julie
      June 1st, 2012 @ 10:33 am

      I also disagree with this. My daughter who’s 6 has been on 15 cruises starting at 7 months of age) (she has been platinum with Carnival since age 5) and my son who is 3 has been on 9! It is by far the easiest way to travel with young kids in my opinion. We have done trips to Disney, flown to Hawaii and other parts of the US and let me tell you it is sooo much easier on a cruise with everything in walking distance andf not having to lug all the gear wherever you go. Im sorry you felt your vacation was not a vacation but most of the points you brought up would be true anywhere. No hotel is baby proofed either. Most infants cannot sit up until age 7-8 months so tubs are useless anyhow. You cannot pack light on any vacation with kids, cruise or not. You cannot have nightlife even at a hotel with kids. So pretty much you are saying dont vacation at all with kids. Yes, its completely different once you have kids but so is your entire life!! I agree adult time is great and vacationing without your children is just as important to recharge your batteries but some of us rather enjoy our children and do not feel burdoned by the added responsibility of them on a vacation.

    19. Hickey Law Firm P.A.
      June 1st, 2012 @ 3:12 pm

      These are great points that parents should consider before taking a baby on a cruise, especially your point about cruise ships not being “baby-proof.” Even older children are susceptible to danger on cruise ships if unsupervised. Balconies, railings and other facilities are not made to protect curious children from injury, so parents on cruise ships have to keep children under close supervision. The relaxed cruising atmosphere should not lull parents into thinking the ship is without risk.

    20. Elsie Too
      June 1st, 2012 @ 8:18 pm

      With all due respect, that post was moronic.

      1. Babies don’t sail free.
      Nor should they, they take up time and energy from the crew, and they take the place of another person allowed on board. I paid for my son to cruise when he was a baby, and I will continue to pay for him until he’s an adult.

      2. You can’t pack light.
      Yes, you can. For an 11 night cruise we took 1 outfit per day (and face it, they pack up small), 2 sippy cups, and an extra bag of diapers (which we obviously used up while cruising, so you only have to transport it one way). I always had my diaper bag with me at that age, so that wouldn’t have changed no matter where we went.

      3. It’s not a vacation for mom and dad.
      Yeah… NOTHING is a good vacation for mom or dad when you have a baby.

      4. Cruise ships aren’t baby-proof.
      Oh, yes, because hotel rooms, amusement parks, and beaches are all SO MUCH SAFER. You’re a parent of a baby- you ALWAYS have to watch out for your child, no matter where you are.

      5. Cribs make cabins even smaller.
      Again: AND??? They make hotel rooms smaller, too. They make my house smaller, too. They make it smaller EVERYWHERE you go.

      6. No nightlife for you.
      You’re the parent of a BABY. Do you expect to no longer be a parent just because you’re travelling? Do you normally stick you kid in the crib, blow him a kiss, and jett off to the nightclub when you’re at home?

      7. The cruise schedule doesn’t always match baby’s schedule.
      Once again, neither does a hotel or a resort that only serves food at certain times, or a store or service that closes for lunch hour, or the bank that isn’t open at all on the weekend, or the baby’s doctor who can only see him during Junior’s naptime. That’s life. It happens.

      8. Babies can’t use the pool.
      Babies can’t use the local community pool, either. I’m okay with that, because there are a lot of other activities you CAN do with baby in tow.

      9. Most cruise cabins don’t have bathtubs.
      Target and Walmart sell inflatable tubs for under $10. Big deal.

      A vacation does not mean you revert to your pre-child days – it means you get to experience parenthood – and ALL of it’s glories, frustrations, and one of a kind experiences in a new way.

      With your attitude, please, stay home. My family and I will continue to have a great time on our cruises without having to hear your lamentations of how hard it is for you to be on vacation.

    21. Susan
      June 2nd, 2012 @ 10:28 am

      #6 – nightlife. There’s no nightlife after having a child unless you hire a babysitter, on land or at sea.

    22. Peter
      June 2nd, 2012 @ 10:29 am

      Sounds like a good reasons not to take babies on any vacation. Having children gives you a responsibility to nurture your child. If you cannot adapt to fit around their needs then stay at home. If you are going to go on a vacation then a cruise has to be one of the better ways of taking baby with you, even if you have a balcony cabin and can relax with room service and good book while baby sleeps. Take your parents or grandparents with you if you want to party, or do what you do at home an d look after your baby while staying close by.

    23. Lindsay
      June 2nd, 2012 @ 4:32 pm

      100% disagree with this write up. We took our son on his first cruise at 6 months and second at 11 months. He will do 2 more before the age of two.
      Cruising is the easiest way to travel as a family. We only have to unpack once and everything is in close walking distance.
      It seems the things you didn’t like about your trip are things that were your own decisions. Multiple outfits, big crib, sitting in the dark, schedules, no tub… we had none of those issues, because that is not how we’ve raised our child. One outfit a day is enough, sleeps with us, has the ability to sleep even when it is light, and can easily adapt to our schedule, we gavehim sponge baths in the shower…
      Perhaps this is more of a write up on a parenting style that failed, rather than a bad cruise.

    24. Donald
      June 2nd, 2012 @ 6:21 pm

      In my opinion, you should not take your kids on a cruise until they are 7 or 8. It is a total waste of money if they are younger.

      Leave them w a caregiver or rent a house somewhere.

    25. Nicole
      June 2nd, 2012 @ 8:15 pm

      I agree with much of this having just returned from a Disney cruise with our 4 year old and our 8 month old. The four year old has always been a fairly resilient kid and she loved the cruise. Old enough to enjoy the kids programming, swimming etc. Our 8 month old struggled with sleeping due to a messed up schedule / long meals / not a lot of room to crawl around etc. and as a result, my husband and I got very little sleep. The baby often need to cry a bit to go to sleep but not being able to do that on a cruise (courtesy to those around us) meant that mama needs a vacation after vacation. I’d cruise again but not until the youngest is 3 and potty trained.

    26. Heather
      June 6th, 2012 @ 12:03 pm

      We just took my son, 20 months, on his first cruise. Those are great points to consider and we took them into account when choosing the line/ship/port. Sailed with Disney for most of these reasons. We planned naps into our days. Chose a room with a divider curtain. Opted for early dinner seating. Pre-booked nursery time. Had a tub, but kiddo prefers a “showa.” Lightweight stroller fit under the bed. He didn’t go through any more clothes than us and his are much smaller. Pack-n-Play did take up much of the cabin, but it folds down when not in use.
      Any vacation is hard with a little one and probably won’t involve much nightlife. Do your research and planning, and then decide what trip is right for you and how old your kid(s) need to be.

    27. 2savannah
      June 6th, 2012 @ 12:05 pm

      If you are taking your kids on a cruise Please do Disney!

    28. Allyson
      June 6th, 2012 @ 12:15 pm

      I have to entirely disagree on this one. After traveling all over the world with our now 3 yr old, cruising has absolutely the easiest way we’ve found to travel with him.

      I’ve done 5 cruises with my son we’ve always had a great time. Sure, carrying some extra gear isn’t always easy, but being on board a cruise ship with someone else tidying up and preparing delicious meals, and chauffering us from place to place, is an awful lot more relaxing than being at home.

      For those who say don’t bother if they won’t remember anyways. I don’t remember much about grade school, but that doesn’t mean my parents should have kept me home until high school. EVERYTHING is a learning experience, and the more a child travels at an early age, the more practiced and comfortable you AND the child will be for travels as they get older.

      Refusing to travel with a child until they are older is frankly selling both yourself and your child short – you would be amazed by the things they DO remember, and even if they don’t, traveling with small children can be a magical experience with everlasting memories.

      You can read about my cruise experiences at http://www.packyourpassport.ca/2011/09/cruising-with-baby.html.

    29. Jankie
      June 6th, 2012 @ 1:04 pm

      No-one has mentioned what could happen in emergency..I wonder if any people with babies or toddlers was on Costa when it sank. How do you put a baby in a life jacket? And, as someone mentioned, it is not impossible for a small child to climb under railings…

    30. Donna
      June 6th, 2012 @ 1:06 pm

      I am really surprised at all you parents out there with babies that take them on cruises these days. Not one of you seem to be concerned with all the infectous diseases and germs that a baby can catch easily since they are so susceptible and their system aren’t developed yet. Also a boat isn’t built with babies in mind regarding safety. They can crawl and get into things that a grown up can’t fit into. Leave them at home with a trusted relative so you can enjoy a vacation. Or just don’t go until they are older.

    31. Allyson
      June 6th, 2012 @ 1:19 pm

      There are germs everywhere, and a cruise ship is no worse than a public bus. On the five ships we’ve traveled on with our son, I’ve never seen a single railing he could have squeezed through.

    32. Carol
      June 6th, 2012 @ 1:59 pm

      Amen to posts #29 & #30. One of the reasons that we chose Oceania is that there are few children onboard. If I had an infant, I’d look to rent a beachfront condo and have the ability to have my child sleep without disrupting my vacation time and also have room to move around. At the very least, cruising should be left to children old enough to practice good hygiene and have manners.

    33. Holly Buckley
      June 6th, 2012 @ 2:15 pm

      LOL. This is crazy; you’d have the same issues at home, so why not get out there and enjoy a trip? We’re making sure our little 1 year old is restaurant trained and ready to skip a nap or two (or five). Don’t panic, and they won’t either. It takes time for food to arrive at the table; patience is a lesson best taught early. tell her the food is coming, and we are enjoying chatting while we wait. Lack of space in a cabin? Of course. Go ahead and co-sleep or set up the pack and play at night. You are not a slave to the baby’s nap or what and when they eat. They will go with the flow. Babies cry; just let them know everything is fine, and they’ll settle down. We’re proudly training a world traveller; it’s working because she knows we are in control, not her. Germs? That just builds a better immune system; she’d be worse off in day care. Stroller? Don’t need it! We can carry her or put her in the bjorn or baby backpack with all of her gear. Get them out there and living life early, and you’ll be free to travel abroad! She’s been at the beach since she was 3 weeks old. She loves international cuisine, even spicy food, and she’s a real treasure to travel with. I love every moment.

    34. j miller
      June 6th, 2012 @ 3:26 pm

      I go on a cruise to get some QUIET! The last think I want to see or hear is a screaming baby next to me. I cannot imagine how someone can think they will have a restful vacation toting all the baby gear on a cruise. Leave the baby with someone you trust and enjoy the time with your husband.

    35. Molly
      June 6th, 2012 @ 3:35 pm

      What is up with Moms these days??? Do you really all think you’ve mastered motherhood so well that you have the right to tell a new mom she’s not good enough because she found cruising with a baby challenging??? Not all moms and babies are alike and what works well for some doesn’t with others. It’s not about not trying hard enough or not sacrificing enough for the kids.

      All of you nasty moms should be ashamed of yourselves.

    36. Dorothy Flannery
      June 6th, 2012 @ 3:55 pm

      You may also want to look into Babies Travel Lite – a service that delivers all the baby gear you need to the Disney cruise ships. They have over 1000 products you can choose from – diapers, wipes, formula, etc. – and they’ll have it in your cabin waiting for you when you board. Greatly reduces schlepping!

    37. Epilef
      June 6th, 2012 @ 4:04 pm

      I’ve just came back from an 11 days cruise on the Mediterranean with my 13 months son. It was perfect!!! We’ve had a blast!!!

      Yes, some people on the cruise ship would give us that look of “what are you doing with a baby here?” and we would give them that look of “we love our son and we’ll take him anywhere where he doesn’t disturb other people” back.

      Some parents here just talk like it’s a blessing to be away from their children, a burden to travel with them. Some say “oh, I’m glad I didn’t take my child and I could rest or go out and party”. Frankly, I believe you didn’t have enough fun when you were young. When my baby is 13 months, or from 0 to 36 months, for that sake, you’re gonna be with your baby most of the time at home, anyways. So why not be on a cruise? And to be honest, not many people stay up past 11pm anyways. Most are in bed by 9pm.

      Food is available 24/7, including Room Service (which we used quite a lot). You don’t have to pack and unpack 10 times during a trip. If your baby is a good sleeper you won’t bother anyone else. If he cries on the dining room, taking hum out for a walk. Don’t be scared of germs, as they will probably be exposed to those at school anyways.

      My son won’t remember he’s been to Italy, Greece, Turkey… But I will always remember how much fun it was to travel with him when he was 13 months and will remember it forever.

    38. Barrie
      June 6th, 2012 @ 7:42 pm

      Parents who insist on taking their babies or toddlers everywhere they go are selfish and inconsiderate of others. The kids don’t enjoy the experience and neither do the nearby adults who have their vacation ruined by the having to put up with the screaming and unruly behavior of someone’s brats.

      When our kids were young, we were thoughtful enough of other people that we hired trusted baby sitters to watch the kids at home so we could enjoy a quiet evening out without inflicting the crying and yelling on other people. We resent adults today who refuse to show us the same degree of consideration.

      Both my wife and would prefer the early dinner seating, but we’ve learned that if we expect to enjoy any peace and quiet at our meal, we have to request late seating when the little monsters have gone to bed. Infants and toddlers do not belong in fine restaurants, movie theaters, plays, or cruise ships.

    39. Harold G
      June 6th, 2012 @ 9:11 pm

      We began to cruise with our son when he was five years old on an inside cabin on the Royal Viking Star. On one cruise he met a former first lady, Lady Bird. On another, on the Windstar, he was allowed to actually hold the on deck wheel. We went on many cruises with him, the last one was when he was a college student. He went on his honeymoon with his new bride. Now he is a father of a son who will be two years old on his firsr cruise with the whole family who are going on a 3 day cruise on the Oasis of the Seas. That means the five of us, our grandsons’s great aunt, her stepsons and their families and a total group of 15 people. The cruise was arranged by her travel agent executive stepson. We have inside rooms that are adjoining. We will all be watching out for the baby and will never take him on an outside deck deck We are looking forward to continuing our family cruise tradition that has lasted ovewr twenty five years.

    40. Adam
      June 7th, 2012 @ 12:34 am

      “Elsie Too”,

      You seem to be implying not that Erica is wrong about many of her criticisms, but that No vacation can be more accommodating to traveling with little ones than a cruise. “With all due respect”, that’s “moronic”.

      I’m going on vacation with my two children – the younger one is 9 months old – in a few weeks. We’ve rented a large vacation house along with several other old friends, who we’re meeting there. So… let’s see how well your “every vacation is the same if you have kids” hypothesis holds up, shall we?

      “4. Cruise ships aren’t baby-proof.
      Oh, yes, because hotel rooms, amusement parks, and beaches are all SO MUCH SAFER. You’re a parent of a baby- you ALWAYS have to watch out for your child, no matter where you are.”

      We actually get to decide how the house we are staying in is laid out. If we want to move some furniture and create a play area, we can, and it stays that way until we leave. If we want to put up gates at the top of stairways, we can (one couple is driving up and can bring that sort of stuff).

      Not all vacations are created equal.

      “5. Cribs make cabins even smaller.
      Again: AND??? They make hotel rooms smaller, too. They make my house smaller, too. They make it smaller EVERYWHERE you go.”

      And… the difference is felt much more when you take the space of a crib away from a tiny cabin than in a large bedroom. Heck, we might even be able to put some of the kids in their own rooms in the house we’re staying in.

      Not all vacations are created equal.

      “6. No nightlife for you.
      You’re the parent of a BABY. Do you expect to no longer be a parent just because you’re travelling? Do you normally stick you kid in the crib, blow him a kiss, and jett off to the nightclub when you’re at home?”

      Nightlife doesn’t have to mean hitting the club. It can be as simple as enjoying a meal together and watching a movie, or just relaxing and talking with friends. All things I’ll be able to do while the baby monitor sits by my side.

      Not all vacations are created equal.

      “7. The cruise schedule doesn’t always match baby’s schedule.
      Once again, neither does a hotel or a resort that only serves food at certain times, or a store or service that closes for lunch hour, or the bank that isn’t open at all on the weekend, or the baby’s doctor who can only see him during Junior’s naptime. That’s life. It happens.”

      Wow, so your options are limited to other places with limited schedules? Such a pity. On my vacation, we’ll make our own schedule. We can go to the beach when we want, split up and leave some people at home while others go on hikes or other outings, and all the time be able to plan our own meal times and so forth. Not all vacations are created equal.

      “8. Babies can’t use the pool.
      Babies can’t use the local community pool, either. I’m okay with that, because there are a lot of other activities you CAN do with baby in tow.”

      Some community pools do allow babies (including mine). Plenty of other water activities allow babies too. Not all vacations… ah, you get the idea.

      Look, if you want to take your kids on cruises, and you enjoy it, more power to you. But the implication that the issues Erica raises apply equally to any possible vacation is just ridiculous.

    41. Nancy
      June 7th, 2012 @ 9:48 am

      I am a grandma that has taken my grandkids on many trips/cruise and land.
      Some 1st time parents think everything has to be the same on a cruise as on land – you are on a holiday – relax and baby will too!
      Disney brought fresth fruit to the table while we waited dinner – one person would take the baby for a walk, while the other waited at the table with toddler # 2 while waiting for our food.
      At one – the “baby” should be able to eat people food – we took bananas, and cerrios from the buffet to our room for snacks. Most meals we found something the little ones would eat – if not, they would offer to bring something else.
      Staff were excellent with little ones, we used the infant drop off center once.
      Our 10 month old was starting to walk, and went alone the row of deck chairs and back several times – most people at those have little ones, and accept the noise and confusion of all the kids.
      Teach your babies/todlers to travel, and you will have travel companions for life.
      Do not get caught up in routine – kids can be flexible – you should be too!

    42. LK
      June 7th, 2012 @ 2:49 pm

      I agree with this post. You have to look at it from both the view of the parents and the view of the other passengers.

      I am the mother of a 2 year old, and he is a big time explorer and loves to run. I am able to catch up to him and keep him safe, but there is always that 1 chance that they will get just ahead of you enough that they could climb over/through the railings. One post said that there is no difference between amusement parks and going on a cruise – I beg to differ. If your child runs in a park, you run after him/her on land – they slide through a railing on a ship, they are in the water and are very likely to drown before you can get to them. Obviously you can have accidents anywhere, but you are safer on land vs. a cruise ship.

      When it comes to space in the cabins vs. a room in a hotel on land – it is different. I have been on cruises and the size of a cruise ship room, no matter where you go will be much smaller than a hotel room.

      Some babies do travel well, but for those that say bring your children, remember not ALL children are as quiet and not because they are bad kids, but kids tend to be louder than adults. It is just the way it is!

      As for going out and having the nightlife – the person writing this just pointed out the fact that you won’t have the ability to enjoy the night time activities with a child – she didn’t say that she doesn’t like being with her child, just that if you do want to have the night out, it isn’t plausible. Remember you are paying for the night time activities whether or not you make use of them.

      When it comes to parents bringing kids on cruises with them, you have to remember that you might not be annoyed with things that your child does as much as others that are there to relax and don’t want to hear the screaming and crying etc that comes along with children. You are used to the noise and know that children act a certain way, but to other passengers it is rude and annoying – remember they have also paid for their cruise and want to relax, which isn’t always possible in a situation such as this.

      Then there is thinking about your kids vs. yourselves. On a ship kids are much more limited to space and things to do. You go to Disney and you have huge parks and places to run around. On a ship there is the possiblity of being sea sick, having no space to roam around and next to nothing to do. Those talking about babysitters on the boat – nice family vacation – your family isn’t with you and someone else is watching them the whole time. You are leaving your children with complete strangers while you \play\!

      I personally feel that a cruise ship is not the best place to bring small children when looking at the pros and cons for everyone involved.

      I am someone that loves her 2 year old and has not spent probably more than 3 nights away from him his entire life, so this is coming from someone that doesn’t just want to get away from the kids. I think it is selfish to put the very little kids and other passengers through this trip. I think that children should be at least 6 years old before going on a cruise.

    43. joan
      June 10th, 2012 @ 5:46 am

      Having cruised 8 times now, with several different cruise lines, we have found out the cruises that suit us better as OAP’s (seniors). We have nothing against children as we are parents ourselves. But if you are wanting to take young children, then obviously you need to research which ship would suit your needs and children more. We are not grand-parents yet, but if we had the chance to take young children it wouldn’t faze me/us. We’d gladly let our kids go off and enjoy their time, as we have already enjoyed our time. When our kids were only 18 months and 16 months old we travelled over half the world to take them to see our families etc. Try holding down a toddler on a plane for 26 hours is much worse!.Those folk who say stay home and only take kids once they’re old enough. Some would say that won’t happen until they’re teenagers etc. We’ve found that the older they are the worse they are. Stroppy teens are a nightmare. A crying baby usually settles and that is in any event, be it a hotel, camping ground, family resort, cruise ship etc. It’s up to each person to decide, but I’d be mindful and respectful that others aren’t always going to be happy to see you. And others will love it!!. I know we love seeing little ones onboard. And as we said, there are fab cruise lines like HAL who cater for an ‘older age group’. Yet, there were a few kids on the HAL cruise we did to Alaska, but they were so well behaved, and they were with parent’s and grand-parent’s. I think that’s the “secret”. Take along with you extra family members who want to take turns looking after the child/children!

    44. LittleMissCruises
      June 10th, 2012 @ 12:32 pm

      Well I just got back from a fabulous cruise with my 8 month infant. She hd the best time and so did I. The difference is in the planning. I do happen to have a full time Nanny that watches her at home while I work so I deceided best thing to do is just take the nanny on the ship too, then I can spend as much time with the baby as I want and when it is nap time, or if I want to go out at night then the nanny takes over. It was wonderful. A win/win for all. the Nanny got a free cruise and I got to not be seperated from my new baby and also have the memories of it all. And as others have stated, it doesn’t have to be a Nanny, it could also be a Grandparent/family/friend that you take along to help with the baby.

    45. Julia
      June 12th, 2012 @ 5:05 pm

      I do think that it is a challenge to bring an infant or toddler on a ship. One thing that I think helps – get two connecting rooms, so that no one has to sit in the dark while a baby is sleeping…can’t go out, but at least they can relax and read or watch tv. Plus the extra space is great for baby stuff.

      We waited until our youngest was just 3 and potty trained, but she still needed naps and thankfully she is tiny, so she can easily be carried around, so no stroller.

      That being said, some families have children of various ages and it would mean missing out on a lot of great vacations for the older kids if we waited til the youngest was at least 5.

      I am shocked at how rude so many passengers are to families, it really is embarrassing.

    46. Leah Lizun
      June 14th, 2012 @ 8:20 pm

      How sad it would be ir you discouraged others from taking what could be a wonderful vacation. We took DD, DSIL, and DGS (14 months) on their first cruise last year, and DD raved about it for the next eight months, until we booked another for this year.

      There was no long car ride and no flight with severely limiting baggage restrictions. We had balcony cabins so they could sit outside and read while they sipped a glass of wine as he napped, which they found very relaxing and enjoyable. Because of his allergies, they had to bring their own milk supply, but other than that, it was easy to find food for him from the regular offerings. He eats out in restaurants at least once a week, so behaving in the MDR was not a problem; the few times he tired of the quiet activities DD brought for him, one or another of us took him for a little walk.

      We had a connecting cabin and never heard him cry, and I can guarantee that never once did he cry in a public space. We’re hyper-sensitive to disturbing others but found that if you plan your activities so that your little one is well-rested, not hungry or pushed beyond his limits, it’s not that hard to keep him happy and smiling.

      We took him to one show that he enjoyed immensely; he swayed to the music, applauded at the appropriate times, and even laughed when everyone else did at the jokes. The second was not to his liking, so his parents whisked him out. As for cruises not being enjoyable for little ones, at that age, they can be just as entertained by climbing in and out of a suitcase as they can walking around Disney, and get a lot less cranky and tired.

      Friends took their three granddaughters, 16, 13, and 13 months, and their parents on a cruise last year. When they came back, they said they’d cruise again with the baby without hesitation. The teenagers? Not in a million years..

    47. Kelly
      June 25th, 2012 @ 11:26 pm

      I took my daughter on a cruise at 4 months, 16 months and 2 years old. On her first cruise, we both relaxed and got a lot of sleep. On her second cruise, at 16 months, she loved toddling down the hallways and riding in the glass elevators. We went to the kid center and played in the area for younger children. On the last cruise we took, when she was two years old, she had a great time meeting all the characters, going to the beach and watching the shows. She absolutely loves the shows.

      I think it depends on the parents and the child. I have been traveling with my daughter since she was 6 weeks old. I am very used to packing and carrying all the extras that she needs. She is very used to traveling and to eating out. She is not a picky eater and she is fairly well-behaved.

      Would I recommend, a blow-up tub, absolutely. I brought one with me. I also brought my own travel crib. She hated the pack-and-play. We also brought a stroller, books and toys. We had bottles with disposable liners so we only had to wash the nipples. We also bought disposable bibs.

      I love cruising and I plan to go another cruise next year when my daughter is 4.

    48. j miller
      July 1st, 2012 @ 10:37 am

      As long as this family is not anywhere near my cabin or dining table, in the pool (and I have seen babies in the pool with their parents and the pool staff didn’t say a word) then MAYBE! Cannot imagine what kind of vacation it would be to have a baby along. Leave them with family and have a second honeymoon.

    49. IROBIN
      July 30th, 2012 @ 3:15 pm

      If you think going on a cruise is hard with a baby, then going to any vacation is a real chore. Cruises are easy — you just need to pick a right departure port, a right cruise line, and a right cabin. Spending money on a baby who will not remember is a moot point — most parents take their kids so that they can spend time together, not enjoy the nightlife. And although it is true — you can actually relax once your child is in school, if you throw a little extra money and plan properly, you can have a nice family vacation that you will remember for the years to come.

    50. Andreea
      August 28th, 2012 @ 8:39 am

      What about taking your little one on board a cruise to nowhere? Would it be a good idea for a child of three years old ?

    51. Mike
      September 3rd, 2012 @ 7:50 pm

      some very odd comments from some very ignorant people. If you don’t like having babies near you on a vacation, go to an adults only cruisline or vacay spot. I am bring my 11 month old and 8 year old and I can assure you having cruised for many years, your more annoying after your 10th beer than my baby will be. I know the rules of the cruise with babies and also take into account of other people enjoying their cruises. Its funny how all these people stating don’t go on a cruise forgot one thing we all don’t want to see on cruises… miserable ignorant people – maybe its you who should stay home

    52. Wendy
      October 18th, 2012 @ 8:12 pm

      Phewee – I’m now scared to take my 2.5 year old on his first cruise from Sydney to Pacific Islands for 8 days on Carnival in June 2013 – however, some of the above comments have provided me with practical suggestions that hopefully will make the trip less daunting for us all, and maybe, just maybe, allow for those who are so against children travelling under the age of 26 (or thereabouts!!), not give us a hard time should we be in the cabin next to you :-) My son is very social; he may or may not be toilet trained by then; he loves observing the world and is generally pretty easy going. By exposing to these wonderful life experiences, although he may not remember all of what we see, do, smell and hear, he may just fall in love with an aspect of ‘cruising’ – be that the beautiful people who will be serving us dinner, saying hi in the corridor; maybe it will be singing on the beach on one of the islands, or just the memory of the ‘big ship’….travelling with children is difficult, frustrating but oh so rewarding, at whatever age and destination. I hope we become lifelong ‘cruisers’, like so many of the comments show others are :-)

    53. Made
      November 2nd, 2012 @ 2:35 pm

      Is it crazy to take a 6 months old on a cruise? We have taken 3 cruises before and it’s our ideal of a vacation, we really want to take some vacation soon. I am just concerned that the baby might get nauseous, and very afraid of something happening to her in the middle of nowhere although all cruises have medical staff, I ma just not sure. Thoughts please? Thanks.

    54. Annie
      December 7th, 2012 @ 11:45 am

      Some interesting reasoning there, I never even thought of taking such a young child on a cruise! It might be worth considering Tots To Travel for their (land based!) selection of baby friendly holidays.

    55. Davu
      December 17th, 2012 @ 6:39 pm

      I totally disagree with this article as a dad. You can make this claim for any travel, not just for a cruise. By this article, I feel you must not do any traveling with your children in general. It all comes down to planning and preparation. Cruising is the easier option for us. Flying is not an option for us (he’s not ready). We’ll drive, but we have to carefully plan our stops for the baby. Cruising is less of a daunting task because there is a port close and there are lots of activities to entertain the kid and us within arms reach. Don’t let this article discourage you, but also know what your limitations with your child are and make careful preparations for it.

    56. Davu
      December 17th, 2012 @ 6:41 pm

      Night life… pfft

    57. proud2bcpa
      December 25th, 2012 @ 7:43 pm

      Kudos to all those parents who are considerate for others.

    58. Shawn
      January 2nd, 2013 @ 1:13 pm

      Kudos to all those parents smart enough to ignore the haters, plan properly, be considerate of others, and ignore some of the idiot remarks on this page.

    59. Katie
      January 3rd, 2013 @ 11:12 pm

      We’re taking my 8 month and 8 year old on a cruise in 2 weeks. While it’s the 5th for my 8 year old. Obviously it’s the first for my baby. I agree all the drunks and smokers and inconsiderate teenagers are more obnoxious than my baby will ever be. It’s hard to generalize about babies. My son will sleep anywhere at anytime. I’m sure he’ll have no problem falling asleep on my shoulder by the pool. I will bring our little blow up bathtub and have him splash around in it. We work hard to earn our vacation just like everyone else and we choose to share it with our children rather than leave them at home and while he won’t remember this cruise, I will and I know it will be wonderful!!

    60. Daisy
      February 16th, 2013 @ 2:48 pm

      Full disclosure: I hate cruises. Being trapped in a huge shopping mall w/a bunch of drunks and gluttons and then ending up in seedy port towns is not my idea of relaxation.
      Having said that, unfortunately I did go on a cruise w/my husband’s family about 10 years ago. Included in the group were several children, including 3 year old (very well behaved) 3 year old twins. Long story short, their mother turned her back for 10 seconds .. had I not looked over, both girls would have gone overboard through the deck rails.
      If you love to drink and eat non-stop, by all means, go on a cruise. But do your children a favor, leave them at home. Better yet, if you love to eat and drink non-stop – just give them up for adoption.

    61. Tiffany
      February 23rd, 2013 @ 5:20 pm

      We took our son on his first cruise when he was 4 1/2. It was a 7 day cruise. Our 13 month old daughter stayed home with nana. I am so glad we decided NOT to take the baby. That was the best vacation I have ever been on. To the people saying don’t cruise until your kids are elementry age… Our 4 year old loved it! We had a balcony room. We are early risers so by 8am we were out and about. After lunch we would go back to our room. Our son would take a nap while we hung out on our balcony for an hour. We also had him enrolled in Camp Carnival and he actually asked to go to his “cruise ship school”. The service in the dining room was outstanding. I will say that on two nights of the cruise our son fell asleep at the dinner table. ha. He didn’t bother anyone, throw any fits, or disrupt anyones vacation. We were all tired after the days events so I have no complaints about not being able to experience “night life”. After dinner we did catch a family comedy show and one stage show. I do believe we were asleep by 9 every night. We are planning another family cruise and will be taking our daughter this time. She will be two years and 9 months old and potty trained. She already takes showers with me so not having a bathtub is not a problem. If she gets tired, I have no issue going back to our balcony room to have her nap while I enjoy sitting on the balcony, sipping a beverage, and reading a good book. My son will be 6 by then so while his sister is napping my husband and him can go play mini golf or spend some man time together. Looking forward to it!

    62. Carrie
      May 24th, 2013 @ 5:32 pm

      I disagreed with most of the points made by the author. I stumbled upon this site when doing research on bed rails on cruise ships. My baby just turned 20 months and has been on ten cruises. I was very worried before the first one (when she was 6 months) but turned out most babies are more adaptable than some would think. Her naps did change but once I changed my expectations, we had a great time, she sleeps at 7:30, I stayed in the room and read. She breastfed so no washing bottles, no packing formula or baby food. Plus there is such a variety of food it’s actually a great way to expose lots of food to baby without doing any of the food shopping, preparation, dish washing afterwards!
      I started giving her showers at 7 months and she loved it. After she turned 1 I started dropping her off at the nursery for nighttime babysitting. I found she stayed asleep after I picked up and transitioned nicely to the cabin crib. Remember their sleep matures as they get older; yes, I know there are other setbacks created by milestones and teething but overall, her sleep matured and she slept more deeply.
      You know your baby…if baby HAS to nap at 10:45 and will not tolerate a stroller or carrier, then don’t bring your baby. My baby was inflexible at first…needed 3 naps at 6-9 months old, no stroller, but she would nap in carrier, so I packed that. It folds into diaper bag…so easy.
      And to the other people who criticize parents who bring their children, you don’t know the circumstances. I think it is easier to have cruise ship family vacation because you don’t have to worry about logistics as much, but also in my situation, my husband is contracted by a cruise line so we go with him/ visit him a lot so he gets to see baby.
      Let’s all try to be a little patient, more understanding. God knows when you are disrupted in your cabin, the parent(s) next door is trying everything they can to calm baby. I doubt many would be neglecting or ignoring their lil ones.

    63. Kaz
      June 12th, 2013 @ 7:26 am

      Interesting comments, I have a 10 month old & been travelling with her since 4 weeks old, venturing further the older she gets but no cruises yet. I think all the points raised applied to all travel & as a parent it’s up to us to take our children, others around us & ourselves into account.

      One thing that perplex me with all the coomments … the swimming pool, why don’t babies wear little swimmers like you do for swimming lessons with babies?? This is what you do in public pools!

    64. Carolina
      June 17th, 2013 @ 9:23 pm

      We are traveling soon (in 2 weeks). We are taking a Med Cruise out of Barcelona. Our son will be days shy of his first birthday while we are on the cruise. My husband and I waited a long time for our little miracle to arrive and we do not feel that he should be excluded from our family vacations. It will be our first big vacation since he was born. I am also deploying in less than a month to Afghanistan and I want to spend quality time, as well as have fun on our vacation before I depart. I understand about babies not being cooperative all of the time and we will make every effort to avoid making anyone uncomfortable, but people should understand that we have a right to cruise or take a vacation anywhere with our child. If people do not want to be around kids, then they should book a child-free vacation/cruise. I am sacrificing personal time with my family and especially with my little guy to serve in the military and be deployed, so I have no guilt for traveling with my baby.

    65. samantha
      June 30th, 2013 @ 12:02 pm

      Go for it now, life doesn’t wait for you. to all the people who don’t like to be around kids, go on an all inclusive resort. more and more couples are traveling with there lil, and i plan to do the same with my baby in about 4 months. start getting used to it. I am not going to stop living my life and stop traveling because i have a lil one. I would prefer to take her everywhere than leave her home.

    66. carolyn
      June 30th, 2013 @ 12:08 pm

      fine, call me inconsiderate if I travel with my 9 month old. I wasn’t put on this planet to please other people but to njoy myself with my family. fi you don’t like sitting next to a baby, change your table

    67. Luke
      July 2nd, 2013 @ 7:58 am

      As I type this I am sitting with my 2 yr old on the blacony of a RC cruise ship. We are currently in day 5 of our 9 day cruise

      It has been a blast hanging out with him and my wife. It’s up to you the parents to make it fun for him and everyone else.

      If your a bad parent don’t bring your kid.

      If your a good parent that can enjoy hanging out with your kids.. Screw these old people and bring them.

    68. Anisa
      August 4th, 2013 @ 3:32 pm

      I agree with Sue… Carnival is the best for young ones. So my conclusion is that it depends on the child and the cruiseline (and Parents, parents have to be okay not going to club every night, etc.) Definitely Carnival, nothing else, for infants and toddlers. They are much more accomodating and their Camp Carnival is absolutely wonderful! Also, if your child is clingy, cant nap in a stroller, etc… its best to wait. My 13 month old is very adaptable as she travels a lot with my husband and I for our work. She naps in a stroller, or in a rocking car seat, and she can bathe anywhere since she just loves water. Unfortunately she cant use the pools onboard, but we make sure she has her pool or beach time at the ports. Theres so many other things for her to do and see onboard anyway… at least on Carnival.

    69. Neon
      August 9th, 2013 @ 5:14 pm

      Life is short. We took our toddler with us to Europe and had a fabulous time. Only unpacked once and got to see places we never would have gotten to otherwise. You only get once chance at this life. Go out and live it. Screw the folks who spent their best years at home; they’re lucky they’ve lived long enough and that they are in good enough shape to go on the cruise. The ships are plenty big enough to find a place to take your unhappy little one without disturbing the crowds. Staying home for years is really not an option for us.

    70. Chris
      August 17th, 2013 @ 6:19 pm

      Anisa
      Thank you for reassuring me about Camp Carnival. My granddaughter of just 3 will be taking her first cruise with us (nana & pap-pap), along with mommy and daddy….Not sure how it will go. I have read so many good reviews about the camp. I am hoping my daughter and son-in-law utilize it…
      I think some parents think it’s a chore to bring little ones…It all depends on the parents attitude…Some parents are selfish, wanting time for themselves while others have a blast bringing their children

    71. Melissa
      August 27th, 2013 @ 2:44 pm

      To number 38 (Barrie). You and your wife are obviously miserable people who should be away from the general public anyways. I certainly hope you don’t have kids of your own as I would feel so sorry for them! There are adult only cruises and vacations available that you could utilize but as a member of the general public please do us all a favour and stay home!!

    72. Aj
      August 27th, 2013 @ 10:56 pm

      Good points, however it depends on the purpose of travel, if someone decide on a family holiday you should never worry about the hazel with kid. On the other hand if you decide to go as couple to have time kidsfree time then these are acceptable comments. And call it kids free time out!

    73. Matt
      September 8th, 2013 @ 11:12 pm

      Ok, screaming kids and babies don’t belong on a cruise unless its Disney. Otherwise leave that screaming stinky sticky brat off my boat. My wife and I didn’t pay thousands just to endure your kid running down the hall and ruining my vacation.. Parents these days think because they have a kid, everyone else will stop what they are doing and give you special treatment. I don’t care about you or your kid, I would have the same feelings if it was you running into me at the pool or talking during the show, but it’s not, it’s your kid being somewhere they shouldn’t be Yes I know kids are cute and blah blah blah, but when I sit down for a five star meal, I don’t want to hear SIT DOWN! STOP! QUIT! Look at it like this, if i was in my underwear running down the halls drunk, screaming and touching everything with sticky hands and flipping switches, crying and throwing a fir, how long do you think i would be able to get away with it?Why pay for something they won’t remember or appreciate, save your money and take them to the park. So please people, not everyone thinks little cross eyed Timmy is the idea of joy and happiness. So unless your little monster can make the whole trip and not say anything or be noticed, leave them at home.

    74. Proud Mommy to an Adaptable 10 Month Old
      September 24th, 2013 @ 12:41 am

      Wow. There are some inconsiderate people out there for sure… However most of them aren’t parents as thank God for that! Not all kids are “screaming brats”. If you don’t what to be around kids maybe you should stay your butt home! Did you all forget you we’re children once?? I went on many vacations as a child. I was TAUGHT how to act. I knew not to touch anything that wasn’t mine and screaming for no reason (including playing) was not tolerated. I had manners at dinner and I knew to leave other people’s stuff alone. My daughter is only 10 months old but she is a very well behaved child. I have taken her on vacation 3 times this year. We’ve gone shopping for up to 5 hours at a time and stood in line for an hour to check out and I had people asking me if she ever cried! No, she doesn’t cry often. I take care of her needs so that she doesn’t need to cry. She is not a picky eater and I do not let her mess in her food. When we go out to eat if something does fall off of her tray I get down on the floor and pick it up. I do not let her scream herself to sleep we’ve stayed in hotels and no one ever knows there is a baby next door! We are planning a cruise October 3rd through 7th she will be almost 11 months old and I guarentee not one person will have a complaint about her being on board that ship! Don’t let a few bad parents cause you to judge all babies! They’re all different and when taken care of can go relatively unnoticed by those who don’t mind them! And as far as cruise ships being unsafe.. So is traffic which is why when we’re outside I WATCH HER! For gods sake people use your head. Toilets aren’t safe for an infant if you’re not watching them. I’ve only been away from my daughter 5 times in her life and at most for 5 hours. And yet somehow she’s a happy, adaptable baby. Not some screaming spoiled brat. At this point I’m ranting.. But goodness gracious people. Maybe no one wants to smell your nasty cancer smoke or your alcohol breath but we aren’t telling YOU to stay home! Some of you all need a pacifier to shut your whining mouths!

    75. Double D
      September 24th, 2013 @ 12:46 am

      #38 I bet your children can’t stand you. You couldn’t take the time to teach them to be well mannered you just leave them with a babysitter.

      P.S. Teenagers are far more annoying than infants.. Whether in a movie, restaurant, mall, parking lot. Whatever, but for the few parents who let their infants scream for no reason, teenagers have the babies beat.

    76. Marie Antalek
      September 25th, 2013 @ 1:49 pm

      No vacation is for mom and dad when you bring your children. That is why its called a family vacation. I think as long as you are a flexible person, you and your baby will do just fine. Sometimes that may require being inconvenienced or having to get creative but that is parenting. Besides the most important thing is that you are spending time together. Not only with your baby but with your husband too. I have been on many cruises and have been lucky to never have heard a baby crying in the cabin next to me but I unfortunately have been annoyed, inconvenienced and discusted with adults who do not know when to stop drinking and start to act like babies!

    77. Kevin
      October 29th, 2013 @ 2:29 pm

      While there is some truth to the points in this article, some other aspects (and many of the responses)are WAY off!! My daughter is currently 4 years old, and she has cruised 5 times with us. She went on her first cruise at 18 months old.
      People saying you should wait till age 5 because they will “behave better” or “remember more” are full of it. Most people don’t clearly remember stuff before they were age 6-7. Also I need to point out that bad behavior knows no age limit and I have seen unruly children in environments (not just on cruise ships) up to age 12+!
      Anyone saying that parents bringing their kids ruins your vacation I can SOMEWHAT appreciate, but lets be realistic, they have the same right to enjoy a vacation as you do, and if you want ZERO CHILDREN then there are cruises and destinations that cater to that. Don’t be an elitist because you either don’t have kids, want kids, or forgot what your own kids were like when they were small.
      Cruising with my daughter was a blast, mainly because I was courteous to others, and have always traveled with my child. We don’t keep her on a set schedule, so she naps wherever we are, and is easy going and travels well. If she acts up and started to fuss, I would remove her from the scene as to not bother others.
      So let’s hit some points:
      1. Child costs full price. That’s just the way it is. I don’t think it is fair, but I have put up for it, even when doing an expensive 2 week Alaskan Cruise when my child was only 2.5 years old. It cost me almost $2000 to take her and she will never remember it. The point is WE REMEMBER having her with us and enjoyed it.
      2. Cant pack light: A child is entitled to a suitcase and carry on bag. kids clothes take up little space, and you can plan diapers, cups, etc. well. I managed to get thru two weeks in Alaska with HEAVY CLOTHES, diapers, toys, snacks, books, etc. in ONE (large adult) SUITCASE.
      3. Not a vacation for mom and dad: 100% correct! So don’t book this trip if your child is not potty trained and old enough to do day camp. We took our daughter EVERYWHERE we went on the ship and enjoyed it. We were not looking to escape her. Sometimes My wife or I did something solo while the other watched her, but that was not too often.
      4. Cruise ships are not baby proof: As other comments have said, neither are any other vacation spots. As a good parent, I always watch my child. Never had an issue with my child sticking her tongue in the electric outlet.
      5. Cribs make rooms smaller: yes they do! But make the best of it. We survived. Our cabin attendants removed the coffee table from the room upon our request and also reconfigured the beds to optimize floor space. They were happy to oblige. How much time do you spend in your room anyway? Not much….
      6. No nightlife: FALSE! We booked late dinner seating and brought our stroller. Our daughter entertained herself with coloring books, etc. until we laid her down. in her stroller and covered it with a blanket. She quickly fell asleep and we wandered the ship for the night partaking in games, shows, and other events while she slept soundly in her stroller. She even slept in her stroller/kelti pack while we did shore excursions!
      7. Baby Schedule: If your child is on a set schedule that is up to the parents. We have never kept a set schedule and our child is better off for it. She naps on the fly and it makes her a much easier traveler. Don’t live your life to your child’s schedule; let your child adjust to yours. Best advice I can give any parent and have been thanked by several friends for it.
      8. Babies can not use the pool: Sadly yes, but for sanitary reasons (diapers) this makes total sense! For the first few cruises we did not take her in the pool, but we did take turns between the two of us swimming while the other watched our daughter
      9. Most cabins do not have a bath tube, but we just sat our daughter on the floor of the shower and used a removable shower head or plastic cup to wash and rinse her. It was not a big deal. Yes, we got a bit wet, in the process, but nothing horrible.

    78. Ingrid
      December 12th, 2013 @ 7:27 pm

      We took our then 14 month old granddaughter and her parents on a cruise last year to Bermuda. It was a blast! Sure we had to make some adjustments having one so young with us and no, she won’t remember, but WE WILL. Would I take her someplace like Europe at a young age? No, because the things we would want to do would not interest her. I learned with my own kids when they were little to gear trips around them to make things more fun and relaxing for me. I am already saving up to take both granddaughters, daughter, son and daughter in law on a cruise asap. It would more than likely be to a beachy destination since that’s what little kids like. As for the ship, you pack a few books, toys, etc. and take them to explore the ship whenever possible. Of course you have to watch them, but you would anyplace.

    79. jamie
      December 13th, 2013 @ 2:05 pm

      We’ve gone on about 6 cruises and 1 with my son (age 3at time of cruise). Being a parent means your “on” 24-hours a day regardless of being on vacation. We had a much different experience taking our son and we enjoyed doing the camp carnival paid activities and other kid-friendly things on-board. But cruising with kids is no different to us than going to a resturant. No matter how much you enforce rules and manners, tantrums are inevitable with youngers. Hence why we do not eat at resturants until our kids are age 4. We are looking into another cruise with both our kids (age 1 and age 4). For us, its a vacation to us but kids in general have their challenges. By all means if you have the patience and know it’s not an alcohol-induced cruise then take your kids. We know we love and enjoy our time!

    80. Sarah
      January 6th, 2014 @ 10:39 pm

      Some of you are real jerks. But I bet you already knew that. If your vacation is ruined just because a kid ran past you in the hall, it’s gonna take more than a trip on a boat to get your head right. I just got back from a cruise with my 6 year old and 8 month old. We don’t have extended family so we all go places together. And even if I could leave my baby somewhere I probably wouldn’t. Forget you, all you self righteous idiots. I paid just as much money to vacation with my family as you did with yours. If you don’t like it, you can jump ship!

    81. Erin
      January 11th, 2014 @ 11:09 am

      We are about to book a cruise for march, and my son will be almost 8 months by then. So many of these comments are ridiculous! “Germs”…yeah, because grocery stores,hospitals,dr.offices…none of these places have germs. If you keep your kid in a bubble, they will get sick the first time they are exposed to any kind of outside germs! Why do you need to “pack multiple outfits a day”? Lol my son only wears 1 a day! Or “they won’t remember, anyways!” No, but I will! I would much rather remember spending time with them on a cruise in the Bahamas, then sitting around the house. Just because I have a baby, doesn’t mean I’m not aloud to ever do anything or have fun. “Babies cry” yeah, he is going to cry at the grocery store too…does that mean I’m not aloud to go grocery shopping? Or the doctors office, can I not go there either? I don’t care if he disturbs your vacation…I’m entitled to vacation just as much as you are, and it’s just as much, if not more deserved that yours! Maybe if you want compete silence you need to plan a a trip to a private beach…not a a carnival family fun ship! I’ve been on 5 cruises, and babies or not…they aren’t very quiet. So what’s the difference in the couple over there cussing each other out in a fight? Or the drunk people screaming and running around? How about the music that they play! There is always going to be noise on a cruise ship. You shouldn’t consider this before you take one and bitch about noise. If my baby cries during dinner, I can take him for a walk or go to my cabin…it’s not the end of the world. Or the people who think its “not safe” I’m sorry…but the odds of being in a car wreck at anytime or my house catching on fire are greater than my odds of the ship sinking. Excuse me for wanting to get out and have fun with my child and have these memories to cherish forever!

    82. Taylor
      January 14th, 2014 @ 4:36 pm

      I would beg to differ. It all depends on your baby. Mine will sleep (once asleep) through anything. I can hike jungles in Mexico with her in her pack and she’s completely passed out for a good nap while mommy and daddy explore. Assuming your child is just like every other child = not true.

    83. Nancy Nolan
      January 31st, 2014 @ 5:14 pm

      Some folks on here are telling others to others to take an “adult only” cruise. I wish I could find an affordable “adult only” cruise to Alaska as I would definitely take it. Even if you love children there is probably nothing worse than a screaming child in the middle of the night in the next cabin or at a nearby table in a restaurant. It’s a uncomfortable experience for all! Some parents handle it well and others, not so much.

    84. Michele
      February 19th, 2014 @ 2:31 pm

      Completely DISAGREE!! I can’t believe some people on here telling people to leave their children at home or don’t go on vacation! Get over it! I have taken my children on cruises and everything was fine. Some people don’t have family to just drop their children off with and in a hotel you can hear the same noises. For our family we like to vacation together and see new places. We enjoy our children and don’t require as much away time from them as it seems some posters on here require. If the first time you take a child to a busy public place is at the age of 5 how will they know how to behave. If you start them young they can learn. With that said I have never attempted to go to the main dining room with my kids as I don’t see the point of dressing them up for a meal and the potential for disruption. Bottom line its a free world I or whoever else can cruise with a child and make it fun for us sorry to the people who are too stuffy and have to bring others down!

    85. Gabriel
      March 20th, 2014 @ 5:41 pm

      No. 81 ERIN: I loved your answer.!

      Exactly. We are taking our 9 month baby on a cruise next month.

      Some of the concerns in here sounds a bit exaggerated, like they prefer to have the baby in a bubble till they are a few years old.

      We know we’ll have to adapt to his eating and sleeping schedules (if that means not having late dinner, fine with us; no scuba diving? sand castles are fun. No dancing late night? I doubt Ill be awake after 10; movies at my cabin sound perfect.

      Will it be tiring? I bet, but it’ll still be a vacation from work and other responsibilities, it’ll mean spending time with him 24/7 instead of a few hours after work.

      Even if a baby wont remember the trip, the EXPERIENCE of it, what he learns from it, and his relation and time with us parents is good enough reason.

      I’ll comment again after our trip.

    86. Becky
      March 29th, 2014 @ 4:55 pm

      I’m just plain scared of boats. Had a cruise two years ago and we were sailing in the worst storms ever. I was scared. Hubby has booked another cruise and this time we have our 1 year old. I’m scared he wi fall overboard, I’m scared the ship will sink and I’m annoyed at myself for not saying no. I applaud parents who have bravery and confidence to travel. I used to be like that and was always calm in a crisis but the outgoing flight to the cruise nearly crashed ( no exaggeration) and the ship was battered by storms. It’s an experience which changed me. Sorry. I’m not adding much here, think I need to talk to my hubby. Best wishes all.

    87. Elaine
      May 10th, 2014 @ 6:59 am

      These responses are kind of hilarious. As a first time mom I’m just now being exposed to all the mom monsters out there. Anyway, thanks for your thoughts Erica! I have a one year old and my mother in law wants me to take him on a cruise and I think it sounds terrible :) So I’m gonna pass. But thanks for your perspective!

    88. Brandon
      June 20th, 2014 @ 4:57 pm

      Heh… I’m not a dad QUITE yet… But based on the various comments from people here it strikes me that the real determining factor of whether you should take a baby on a cruise really has to do with how your particular baby handles being out and about. If you can take them places with you without a great deal of difficulty, visit the houses of your non baby having friends without them killing themselves, etc then they probably will be fine on a cruise.

      If they are fussy, don’t sleep well in strange places, are constantly dirtying themselves to the point they NEED several outfits a day then probably you are correct and cruise isn’t for you and baby.

    89. Rachele
      June 23rd, 2014 @ 2:58 pm

      Wow – I’m pretty sure there is a HUGE difference in a grown man being drunk and running up and down the hallways crying and touching everything and a baby / toddler doing it (minus the drunk part) … GROW UP PEOPLE. Thankfully, we are taking our 2 year old on a KIDS SAIL FREE cruise (RC) in November – I’m sure there will be plenty of children on board and HOPEFULLY less opinionated baby haters like ya’ll. THE END.

    90. AA
      August 19th, 2014 @ 11:55 am

      Wow… so, it sounds like you weren’t ready for kids? Our kids 18 mnths, 4 yr, and 6 yr love them. You just have to think a little about how to make it great for everyone. Can’t hit the club and drink? Yeah, you have kids. That is what happens everywhere in your life when you have kids. We have also included them in everything we do from the beginning. Wow! They are adjusted now! Who would have thought? Anyone who complains about kids must not remember where they came from.

    91. Allison
      September 1st, 2014 @ 7:11 am

      Just came back from a cruise with my 4 year old and a 16 month old. I completely agree with this article. If it was just one or the other then it might be okay but having both of them made the vacation exhausting. Our cruise had babysitting services, so that helped a little. If I had to do it again, I would definitely leave the little one at home.

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